Should I cancel my trip?

The short answer, at time of writing, is no, probably not. The World Health Organization (WHO), states that unless you are in a region where coronavirus is spreading, or have traveled to/from an area where it is spreading, or have been in contact with an infected person, your risk of infection remains low.

The longer answer depends on who you are, where you’re going, when you’re going and how you’re going. “I, personally, am still planning to go to Europe in 10 days’ time,” Professor Robert Booy, an expert in infectious diseases from the University of Sydney tells “I feel the risk [in Europe] for someone aged under 60 is not too high, if you’re going to countries other than Italy, which has the highest rate in Europe at the moment.”

Professor Booy explains that your personal state should help inform any decision to travel. That means your age, whether you have a chronic medical illness, and whether you are likely to be mixing in crowds and countries that have known high transmission rates. “I wouldn’t at present, go to the big five countries—South Korea, China, Japan, Iran or Italy,” he says.

At time of writing, the US Department of State has issued Level 4 (‘Do Not Travel’) warnings to Iran and China, Level 3 (‘Reconsider Travel’) warnings to South Korea and Italy, and a Level 2 (‘Exercise Increased Caution’) warning for Japan.

Wherever you’re based, it’s worth checking your government travel advisory for the latest travel advice before planning anything. And if you have something booked, your first move should be to call your airline, tour company and insurance company to seek their counsel, then square that with your own research.

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